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Enchant - Juggling 9 or Dropping 10 CD (album) cover

JUGGLING 9 OR DROPPING 10

Enchant

 

Heavy Prog

3.81 | 124 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Moatilliatta
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Enchant never made a masterpiece, but this is where they came the closest. Juggling 9 or Dropping 10 is rife with varietal, but always melodic Rush-meets-Neo-prog songs, staring the fabulous guitar work of Doug Ott. While I don't mean to disparage what the rest of the band brings to the table, it seems to me that most of the time it is Ott's impassioned solos or riffs that captivate me the most. However, it would be unfair of me not to note the quality of Ed Platt's basslines, or Ted Leonard's memorable melodies. Really though, the band works together to form a very cohesive sound throughout, where the band members know their place, and don't go overboard with fills, but when they get their opportunity to fill a gap, they do so with great taste and dexterity. In fact, often times, each member of the band works together to form dense riffs, as opposed to the drums and bass holding the roots while the guitar or keyboard manages the lead by themselves. Every member has an important role in creating the melodies and atmosphere, placing the whole over the individual, and it works out very nicely. So, while these songs could end up just being songs, they become something much more.

The only thing that holds them back from making masterpieces, especially here, is that they put a little too much focus on the individual and not the whole. Those reading carefully will recall that I had just said the opposite about them merely sentences ago. Before, I was speaking of the content of the songs; this time I am referring to what they do with those songs. The album layout is a key element of music, and it is one of the reasons pop albums are often unbearable. Pop albums are just a bunch of unrelated songs, following similar structural formulas and so on and so forth. Enchant is far from being a pop band - though they may be quite accessible given their constantly melodic and easy to follow material - but their albums are basically a collection of unrelated songs. This makes the album less of an all-inclusive experience, regardless of how enjoyable it may be. Fortunately, Enchant don't degrade themselves to write pop songs. They put a lot of effort into these songs, and each song is a different experience in itself. You won't get bored at any point in this album; in fact, you will probably enjoy just about every second of this album. The only downside is that you really won't be jaw-drop-wowed, nor will you have a sentimental attachment to this album. Although emotionally charged songs like "What to Say," whose melodies are reprised to form the last track (the only album-mindedness to be found) will definitely have you internally crying, you wouldn't put on the whole album just to have that singular experience. Of course, if every song is magically touching for you, that last sentence may not apply.

Point is, this is a great album, filled with many positives, and one or two negatives. Besides the song-oriented approach being a small negative, one could argue that the album doesn't hold the same level in quality during the second half. While I would say that all of the album's highlights are found in the first half, there are still a bunch of great songs in the second, which probably aren't far off from being highlights themselves. It is also worth noting that the lyrics are pretty strong as well. The topics can be related to, and they are addressed with some neat metaphors.

If you are interested in Enchant, this is the album you need to look into.

Moatilliatta | 3/5 |

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